Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 November 2020:
Last Thursday, the management of Mercury International presented a cheque of Le 500 million to President Dr Julius Maada Bio to support the construction of a multi-storey classroom building for the St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School in Freetown.
Managing Director of the Sports Betting and Lottery Company, Lawyer Martin Michael, said they are working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, MBSSE, to provide 25 percent of the total cost for the construction of the building.
“On behalf of the Board Chairman, Mercury International wishes the ex-pupils of Saint Joseph’s Convent luck in their project. We look forward to the launch of the completed building in the shortest possible time. God bless you all and God bless Sierra Leone,” said Mr. Michael.
President of the St. Joseph’s Secondary School Ex-Pupils Association, Mrs. Emerica King, said that history was being made for their school. She thanked the government of President Bio and Mercury International for the eight-classroom multi-storey building that would help eliminate the two shifts system in the school.
“Your Excellency Sir, the ex-pupils are solidly behind you on your Free Quality Education drive and we are committed to doing all we can to support and move it forward,” she assured.
Minister of Basic Education – Dr Moinina David Sengeh, thanked Mercury International for their partnership with the ministry and said that the Basic Education Commission has introduced a shift index in readiness of the school to return to the single shift system.
He noted that the Commission is charged with the responsibility of ensuring quality education for every child in the country and achieving a low rate of illiteracy in the country.
Delivering the keynote address, President Dr Julius Maada Bio expressed gratitude to the company for what he said is their continued manifestation of commitment to the education sector.
He urged other institutions to emulate the contributions of Mercury International in national development.
“Our commitment to education is genuine. It is intentional and purposeful and the benefit of this intention, and what we are all undertaking, is not going to be felt today. It may not fetch me more votes, because those who are going to benefit are not yet qualified to vote, but I know that I am making a solid foundation for the development of our nation. The land that we love that was once the Athens of West Africa,” he stated.
President Bio further said that no nation would achieve sustainable development without a sound education system and, therefore, encourages parents to support their children in school and at home.
“There is no shortcut to quality education. One has to burn the midnight candle. I want to plead with the citizens of this country to understand that I am only leading a process. The success of education depends on us all. The best investment is in human beings. There is beauty in education,” he emphasised.